Sunday, October 09, 2022
Leofranc Holford-Strevens, Aulus Gellius: An Antonine Scholar and his Achievement, rev. ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), p. ix:Newer› ‹Older
Scholarly caution, all too often a euphemism for indecisive dithering, or else a paradoxical excuse for fantastic hypotheses worthy of the barrister defending a hopeless case, is no true name for the parti pris that what cannot be proved must be false, nor for a refusal to infer what is not explicitly attested; one may reasonably decline to leap a mountain chasm without fearing to cross a road.Id., pp. ix-x:
I do not apologize in the least for requiring comprehension not only of Latin and Greek (for so does much that he wrote), but of modern European languages, scorning the practice of many Anglophone, and indeed Francophone, authors of citing only their own tonguefellows: not only has no one language a monopoly on truth or utility in its writings, but if a classical scholar were commanded by some tyrant to read scholarly literature in one modern language only, but permitted to choose the language, the best choice might still not be English.Id., p. xiii:
I have learnt, not only from modern scholars and those of the nineteenth century, but from the humanists and antiquarians, who were less far removed from Gellius in spirit and who in their own works often made use of his language and his procedures. The proportion of truth to error in Gruter's Lampas is possibly no lower than in the same wordage of a modern periodical, nor is the present always right against the past.Id., p. xiv:
...the volume of modern periodical literature, which distracts us from that study of texts in which our ancestors excelled, is scarcely within the grasp of any mortal...